Chennai: It is the 95th birth anniversary of DMK patriarch late M Karunanidhi and several people took to social media to wish him. The #HBDKalaignar96 topped the Twitter trends on Monday morning.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president MK Stalin paid rich tributes to his father. Stalin, along with his party cadres, showered the colossal photo of Karunanidhi with flowers.
Karunanidhi was born on June 3, 1924 at Thirukkuvalai in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, around 300km from state capital Chennai. He was born to a poor Isai Vellalar family who were members of a temple-dependent caste.
Muthuvel Karunanidhi, who became the chief minister five times, cut his teeth in politics as a 14-year-old when he participated in the anti-Hindi agitation in 1938 at his native Tiruvarur.
Hugely influenced by the rationalist and egalitarian ideology of E V Ramasamy 'Periyar' and DMK founder and the state's first chief minister C N Annadurai, Karunanidhi became one of the most enduring mascots of the Dravidian Movement, which aimed at seeking equal rights for the depressed sections and women, and was against Brahminism.
Elected to the Legislative Assembly 13 times, Karunanidhi, a political artiste, outmanoeuvred V R Nedunchezhian to become the chief minister for the first time following the death of Annadurai in February 1969.
Karunanidhi was a legislator for six decades since 1957, when he won for the first time from Kulithalai constituency, till 2016, when he emerged victorious from Tiruvarur as a 92-year-old, barring the period between 1986 and 1989.
Addressed as Mu Ka, Tamil abbreviation of his name, by his peers, Karunanidhi's letters to DMK cadres in party mouthpiece Murasoli and his autobiography-cum-commentary on contemporary politics Nenjukku Needhi, are the favourite reading material for his supporters.
Karunanidhi's famous line "En uyirinum melana kazhaga udanpirappugaley (my dear brothers in party who are are above my life)," in his unmistakable baritone, used to send DMK workers into raptures.
Karunanidhi breathed his last in August last year at the age of 94 following prolonged illness.
One year after his death, Stalin vindicated himself by winning 37 out of the 38 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu in the recent general elections.